Hundreds of new homes expected after chiefs approve housing revolution for South Tyneside

Plans to build hundreds of new council houses, specialist accommodation and homes for sale in South Tyneside have been backed by council chiefs.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 4:27 pm
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 3:38 pm

While many housing sites are subject to further decision-making and appraisals, the strategy sets out the council’s ambitions to build homes across three key areas.

This includes building council houses again for the first time in a decade following changes to the cap on council borrowing limits and grant funding conditions, with at least 250 set to be built for rent over the next five years.

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CGI of proposed council housing development at Henderson Road, South Shields
CGI of proposed council housing development at Henderson Road, South Shields

The homes will be built through the council’s housing revenue account with South Tyneside Homes carrying out the construction works and managing the developments on behalf of the council.

To meet the need for specialist housing in its adult social care accommodation strategy, the council also plans to create at least 350 new homes through South Tyneside Housing Ventures Trust.

The council will provide land and loan finance to support the independent company, which has already provided more than 400 affordable homes over the last five years.

And the third strand includes Centaurea Homes appraising further sites to deliver up to 200 new homes for sale, following the success of Langdale Grange, with profits from land sales reinvested into council priorities.

A CGI of proposed council housing at Henderson Road.

The housing strategy was backed by South Tyneside Council’s ruling cabinet at a meeting on Wednesday, March 17, which was held via videolink and broadcast on YouTube.

Councillor Mark Walsh, cabinet member for housing and transport, said the proposals aimed to provide a “better balanced housing market” in the borough while supporting council priorities.

He explained: “Whilst most housing developed in the borough is by private developers, it’s important that the council utilises its land and borrowing powers to address unmet needs.

“That is why this five-year plan for new building has a clear focus on building new general needs council housing for rent to meet the aspirations of those people currently on the council’s housing waiting list.

Councillor Mark Walsh, the council’s lead member for housing and transport

“[It will] support the development of specialist and supported homes, including extra care, to meet the needs of residents identified in the adult social care accommodation strategy.

“And [it also aims to] build high quality homes for sale which meet residents’ aspirations and where profits from land can be reinvested into council priorities, rather than being lost to private companies.”

A report prepared for council chiefs named some of the housing schemes planned for South Tyneside.

The first phase of council housing would see two-bedroom houses at Henderson Road, South Shields and apartments, houses and bungalows at Hindmarch Drive, Boldon.

Meanwhile, adult social care accommodation schemes include specialist supported accommodation at Hedgley Road, Hebburn and Concorde Way, Jarrow.

In phase two, sites in Hebburn town centre and Dean Road, South Shields have been identified for extra care accommodation, including specialist dementia support.

Further sites will be appraised and considered by councillors in the future to meet the targets in the five-year plan.

The local authority will also look to use local supply chains and businesses to support the delivery of the programme, alongside maximising local employment and training opportunities, including apprenticeships.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, welcomed the report.

“I just think it’s a significant delivery, as Cllr Walsh said, the first time in ten years for council house building,” she told the meeting.

“I think it’s very much to be celebrated and thank you to all the officers who have made this happen.

“There is an unmet need there for affordable housing for some of our residents and this is the first step back onto that road of us being able to do that.”

Councillor Ed Malcolm, Chair of South Tyneside Homes’ Board, also welcomed the news.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “We have always been proactive about building council houses and I am delighted that we are to begin building once again.

“These homes will be for people who are currently on the council’s housing waiting list and will help meet local need.

“We’re committed to providing much-needed affordable homes across the borough and, 100 years after we first started building council houses in South Tyneside, I think these new developments will be a fantastic example of what we can achieve now.”

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